scribbles tagged ‘lost it’

USA Embassy Non Immigrant Visa lines

Monday, September 8th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , , ,  |

USA Embassy Grovenor Square, LondonI completed my DS-160 online and scheduled an appointment at the London USA Embassy

Being over anxious about finding the right place, I turned up 90minutes before my appointment ladened with half a redwood tree of supporting evidence, credit card, and my passport.

I had to line up, in separate lines to:

  1. Announce my arrival – be ticked on a checklist
  2. Go through security clearance
  3. Pick-up a (queuing) number from reception
  4. Hand-over key pieces of historical documentation for the interviewer to review
  5. Pay for the application processing
  6. Be interviewed

Standing in line, sitting in line with a number, is an integral part of the USA visa getting process. There are many ways that new technology could be used to streamline the whole process. Streamlining the process would remove the Kafkaesque quality. Perhaps being Kafkaesque is fundamentally important to government procedures.

The young, blonde, Brit who interviewed me was being observed by a senior member of staff who smiled when I got excited and when I behaved like a normal person… forgetting things, being uncertain.

Interviewer: tell me about your Diplomatic Visa, your A2

Wendy: Gosh, I’d completely forgotten about that, way back in 1999 I worked for the UK MOD on secret things, I signed the official secrets act and they got me a diplomatic Visa. Well done you for finding that out!

The USA are going to give me another  Visa, despite my having to declare that I’d repeatedly lost my passport several times while living in the USA. It seems they can tolerate my human scattiness in return for my fabulous expert knowledge…. mainly knowledge of human scattiness….


USA Embassy Non Immigrant Visa lines
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key purse

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

Microsoft Card KeyChecking my bag, have I got everything that I need, before I leave the Wendy House for the big scary world outside?

No key card.

Without my key card I can’t get into the safe, secure, place that is ‘work’. An hour searching the finite, small, tidied through previous searching, Wendy House, didn’t uncover the key card. Sigh. I’ll have to cancel this one and arrange a replacement. A photograph of my looking harassed and bedraggled will adorn my key card until the next time I lose it. Why can’t I put my favourite selfie on my key card? Resigned to the dull, administrative, overhead, I wander out to Thomas and open his door

On the drivers seat is my key card


key purse
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t’ ryst

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

watches as jewelleryI remembered picking up my watch from my bedside table before my bath.

Between then and my clean, sparkling-self dressing it appeared to have vanished of the face of the earth. I spent an hour searching the small finite spaces of the Wendy House, but nothing. Sigh. My watch has great sentimental value. Easy to replace at a functional level, but this loss left me saddened as I faced my daily jungle trek

After an outstandingly enjoyable jungle trek, de-robing  for bed, I noticed my watch wrapped around my right wrist, not it’s usual left wrist

Sweet surprise

t’ ryst
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midgets, geese, guns and cycles

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Day 6: October 26th

mgmidgetDSCN1002 (2) 1) Classic cars, an MG midget rattles around in the SUV sized road lanes.

2) Laid-back wildlife, a flock of Canadian geese wander around a suburban road (I’d lost the route again)

DSCN1014 (2)3) My guns bigger than yours, a big black SUV demonstrates the owners gun-toting capabilities with a big gun box.

Sapulpa (12)4) Cycling families, bicycles on board the carry-all car

The drive through Oklahoma was mainly overcast, threatening rain. The weather reminded me lf British summertime, comfortably familiar.


midgets, geese, guns and cycles
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lost the route

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Kansas (16)Day 5: October 25th

During the journey I lost Route 66 on multiple occasions. Illinois and Missouri provided well placed, easy to read and understand signs. Things started going wrong in Kansas where I would get to a road junction that had no sign for route 66 so I’d choose to keep going in my current direction.

This proved to be a poor strategy. In this photo you see the view a couple of miles after a junction. I could be on an unsurfaced part of route 66 or I could be off track. Your guess is as good as mine. I was using a hire-car provided Satnav (GPS) who was later named ‘Francine’. Francine only wanted me to use Interstates to get between towns, even nearby towns. I tended to program a route through towns and then ignore her until I got lost. I was also using a set of essential maps which numbered the interstate exits where route 66 crossed the interstate. I used these junctions to rediscover the route.

Different States label the route on different ways. Kansas was my first, not last, experience of poor signage.

In Illinois I learned that the route often forked, taking different roads during different time periods. Often I’d have to choose between different roads based on when they were officially route 66.

Learning for next time: find an App or SatNav service which has been designed to enable traveller to follow the many route options for route 66

lost the route
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drawers for drawers

Friday, July 1st, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Riding the London commuter train back to Reading I realised I’d left my house keys in the office, luckily my neighbour was home, able to let me in with her spare key. It’s been a week for scattiness. I spent about 3 hours looking for my E11, EHIC, ready for my summer vacation.

Searching was a serious process that involved:

  • looking in all the pockets of 5 handbags (USA purses)
  • The contents of 4 old purses (USA Wallets)
  • 16 drawers, some containing drawers – I might have hidden the card in my underwear. It’s possible.
  • 4 trays of important ‘stuff’ , once recent letters that have faded to the bottom of unotuched piles
  • lesser-used jacket pockets

chest for drawersMy chest of drawers is more organised now that I’ve carefully inspected, sorted, folded and replaced each item. The search threw up some surprises, the condoms with a 2008 use-by date. Thrown away. Pre-Euro continental coinage from the 1990s, re-packed for posterity. No E11 card

Once I’d run out of obvious places, I gave up. A solemn swathe of paranoia about my ability to file and find key documents, a history of losing my passport, drove me to check that the passport was where I thought it should be. It was.

Tucked inside my passport was my E11 card.

A sensible place.



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Fine art map

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

Fine Art Map LostReading University fine art degree show 2011

Tucked behind a filing cabinet in the corridor, a departmental sign proclaimed “Fine art map”

The map didn’t embody my understanding of ‘fine art’. The skills and interests of departmental academic staff don’t emerge in this creation for public consumption. The title ‘Lost’ was apt not just geographically, but with the pieces displayed in the show. Final pieces were planted without context, no comment on the artists inspiration or journey. This often left me feeling lost and wishing the artists had put more effort into engaging me. Afterall, I am here as a willing participant

Each piece was labelled with a title, the name of the artist, their course. Some large paintings of nude women were labelled “nudes”. Indeed, the title did convey the content in a stripped to the bare essentials way – like the paintings

I managed to find fun in some pieces. Especially when the artist had planned them to engage with action aswell as thought:

  • running through a waterfall
  • putting a post-it note to my friends in Seattle on a map of the world

I kept getting distracted from the show by the wonderful language of the building and social structure. Then labelled-stickytape, provided by one artist, kindly drew me back to the thoughtful work of the students in the building


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run wendy run

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

4yr tricycleOnce the joy of the tinkling bells had worn off I looked towards the end of the isle. Mum and dad weren’t there

It wasn’t fair, they could walk fast or slow. Slow was the only speed I could walk. Slow or running.  They always walked fast, I had to run, whizzing passed so many fascinating things. I’d only taken a moment to listen to the bells while mum and dad wandered off.

I ran to the end of the isle, glancing both ways then looked down every isle. From a safe distance, I even checked the escalators. No mum, dad or brothers. I hadn’t got lost. I know where I am. They are lost.  Welling tears were barely held by remembering mums’ instructions

‘what to do when you are lost’

  1. stay in the last place that you saw mum, dad, your brothers or school teacher
  2. do not talk to strangers
  3. talk to a policeman and they will help you find mum and dad

Standing by the silent bells, soggy red-faced, I wondered if mum and dad were also staying in the last place they saw me, not talking to strangers. People were watching me and talking to each other. A lady bent down and asked if I was alright. I tried so very hard to follow rule 2, not talking to this stranger. It tooks seconds for me to fail. Mucus spluttered

I’ve lost my mummy!

Why did everyone seem so calm? Why weren’t they crying too? My friends and I always cried together. Maybe these strangers were going to take me away to an orphanage and I’d never see mum and dad again. The lady leant forward to grab me.  I scrambled out of her reach towards the bells, crying louder in the hope that someone would join in.

Wearing her angry face, Mum appeared at the end of the isle to rescue me. When angry, she walks faster. I ran all the way home trying to slow mum by singing  I want to hold your hand.

scribble inspired by Nick’s recent musings on lost children
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death by hot wet cycle

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

washing machinePhone.

bouncy hot whites cycle.

It was bound to happen one day.

sign me up for the water-proof, slimline, aesthetically pleasing cellphone.

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spectacle between the jumpers

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

While packing a day-bag to attend a local water-festival I noticed that my Oakley prescription sunglasses  were not,   as expected, nestled amongst my collection of spectacles dating back to 1979,    in my spectacle drawer.  

There was a  minor panic outbreak   because I will need these glasses for my rapidly impending Greek Sailing Holiday.    I quickly searched all sensible places where I may have put a pair of sunglasses.   They weren’t anywhere sensible.   The following morning I double-checked all the sensible places,   the following morning I looked in a few down-right silly places to put sun glasses (e.g. spare tea caddy).

3 days later,   my morning random search for the oakleys included  my winter-jumper draw.  There they were,   between two wool jumpers…..    

The passport under the sink and the sunglasses between the woolly-jumpers are two of the Wendy House mysteries that may never be explained…

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notarised lost title

Saturday, December 1st, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

In the US car ownership is established with a Title.   When you sell your car you transfer the title to the new owner.   Loosea’s title has gone AWOL.   I looked everywhere,   honest.     Luckily a swift check online produced a form for declaring her title lost and releasing it to a new owner.    My signature on the slightly confusing form had to be notarised.  The Notary had to ask for a second opinion about what should be filled-in.   All turned out well in the end.   Hoorah,   despite my relocation induced scattiness Loosea will get to go to a new home,   across the road,   the house opposite,   she’s a bit of a home-body

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UK government loses parents identities

Sunday, November 25th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

OOOOPS!   the BBC reports that the UK govenment  has  mislaid the indentity information of people who claim child-support benefit.    Everyone with a child under 16 is entitled to this benefit.  

Alistair Darling does have a fabulous name,   at school in the 1970’s my teachers referred to boy-pupils by their family name,   can you imagine referring to him as Darling in class.   Character building all around I’d say!

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under sink passport

Friday, August 10th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

In November I lost my second passport in one year.   I found lost passport # 1 when looking for lost passport #2.   When the UK Govt. sent a replacement passport #2 they put me on a special limited edition.   Limited to 1 year validity.    They call it the  scatterbrain edition.

Tonight I found lost passport #2.    It was under an unused dusty note-book,   in a cupoboard, under a sink,    in a bathroom,   a cupboard that I didn’t think I had ever used.  

Passport.   Bathroom undersink cupboard.   Now I think that’s a bit silly.  

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Wednesday, July 5th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

This passport is a replacement for a passport ‘Declared LOST’, urgh.   I anticipate delays and humiliation at US immigration.     My new 10yr UK passport ID page has this special warning printed on the back:

LOST passport replacement

Pretty illustrations of different birds on each page and dual language (English and French)  almost make up for the likely extra detailed questioning when trying to get back into the US.   Sigh.

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vicious scattiness spiral

Sunday, June 4th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

The spiral:

  • losing things is distressing.
  • distress induces scattiness.
  • scattiness promotes losing things.
  • losing things….(ad infinitum)

The onset of Wendy-(ex)-centric  scattiness is predicable.   Keys will use my scattiness to make a bid for freedom.   I can normally track them down after 15 minutes of focused crime scene recreation.   Some items,   things rarely used are more cunning.   Today was a day when a cunning item successfully escaped.

After 8hrs of searching every (list warning):

  • pocket (suitcase,  bag and coat),
  • book (removed from shelf and shaken),
  • CD rack (all CDs removed, dusted then replaced),
  • drawer (empied, contents shaken, stirred and neatly replaced)
  • furniture (under the bead, the sofa crevice, behind shelves)

I’ve decided to let scattiness win.   This time.   Costing me some ‘replacement’ dollars and worse than that the time to complete at least four official forms and report the loss to at least 3 government agencies.   Poooeeey,   must kick this cycle soon.   Given alcohol’s known impact on memory beer could give my keys a good opportunity to make a run for it,    not a good idea….

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lost it

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006 | tags:  |

Where  is my freedom,  did anyone see it go?     Perhaps it is

  • roaming the world disguised as a priest accompanied by the missing pink  ‘Hello Kitty’ sock.
  • filed in an obscure folder on my laptop; fighting viruses, worms, spyware  and obscurity.
  • unemployed in Slough making crustless  sandwiches for the local pub darts team.
  • tangled in  my kitchen drawer or suffocating  in my sofa’s fluffy crevices.
  • signed away with the small-print of the mortgage agreement.

Please come back, I love you, I never meant to lose you,   I can change.   Don’t leave me.

note:   inspired by listening to  some people sadly reflect on their lives describing collections of possessions and experiences with a disappointment at how this didn’t leave them feeling fulfilled.   To me they sounded as though they had never known freedom,  or merely, literally, lost it.    2004.  

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Scattiness day 2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 | tags: ,  |

by 6pm  I’d temporarily mislaid

  • Car-park that I’d put the car in
  • Laptop power cable

After finding my car and power cable,  while hurrying back to work,  I walked into  a ceiling-to-ground glass wall.   Messy.   I left a trial of nose-blood all the way to the rest-rooms.   Suspect I’ll have a couple of black eyes tomorrow.  

An excuse to wear my Oakley sunglasses to hide my black eyes and walk into even more glass walls,   doh!

Meanwhile,   I missed my reminder for my lawyers appointment.   Arriving 30 minutes late as a thunderstorm took out the power so we had to sign and witness documents  using a torch (US = flash-ligh).

For the person who found my blog using the search terms “tinkerbell nasty pictures“,   frankly,   that’s just way too naughty.

Imagine  a 700 point scale of ‘scattiness’ where

  • 1 = memory  of a goldfish & the perceptual skills of a dead-ant.
  • 700  = high resolution digital quality  reproduction &  Tele-kinetic focus.  

In summary,   this week is on schedule to achieve a rating under 100…..

I’m not depressed,   I’m British

W without-where-abouts

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One of those days…

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005 | tags:  |

temporarily mislaid:

  • car in car-park
  • bearings when leaving car-park (drove South instead of North)
  • 700 grams of ebullience

Recent college graduate:   “Wow,   you’ve done a lot

Wendy: “I’m old

Recent college graduate:   ”               ”

Wendy:   “What do you…   ” (guides the conversation to be about the recent graduate’s interests  after realising that her quick reply was possibly misread as  an ‘abrupt’ conversation ender)


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Thursday, October 20th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

The Oxford English Dictionary Online refuses to recognise that ‘scatty’ is a legitimate word.   Bloody-mindedness I’d say!   Meanwhile,   the ever faithfull slang dictionary provides a description that clearly matches my colloquial understanding:

 scatty Adj. Absent-minded. Possibly from scatterbrained. {Informal}

Here’s a short (who am I kidding?) account of this autumn’s scattiness that excludes normal stuff like losing my car keys,   my car in the car-park,   and occassionally the car-park I’ve left the car in.   This autumn has proved exceptional.    My outstanding achievement of  absent mindedness this autumn includes,   but is not limited to:

  1. Left handbag in downtown restaurant. August
  2. Left jumper in Bristol. September.   Will be posted as packaging around a B’day present (hooray!).
  3. Left camera battery charger with battery plugged into a wall in Portsmouth. October.   Currently in the post.
  4. Lost Passport and Advance Parole documents (2x). October.  Found them each time within 2 hrs.
  5. Lost boyfriend.   October.   Partially retrieved in October.
  6. Lost Mobile phone power 2x. October.
  7. Left slippers at friends temporary home just before he moved out. October.
  8. Left company entrance card-key inside the building when I left,   house keys & lip-balm.  Today.   Retrieved all.
  9. Lost my appetite. October.
  10. Lost sleep.   Monday.   Found Tuesday onward… hoorah!.

 Do I get an award or what?   Just feel the attitude.   Sleep deprivation does wacky things to the superficially normal gal.   I must remember to be polite to my colleagues tomorrow,   or should i….

Wendy where-did-i-leave-my……

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